Maya Angelou Reflections


We haven’t posted in a while. All of us are going through different transitions in work and life. But that is never a bad thing. All of the busyness of our lives came to a pause when we all heard of the passing of the amazing Dr. Maya Angelou. Of course throughout our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, we saw various postings here and there about how she impacted us all with her words, with her activism, and with her presence.  The day we heard of her passing and the days that followed, there was more inspiration and motivation sparked on timeline. There were some powerful things I saw and I wanted to get to back to updating our blog here with these reflections.

I will begin with my own reflection that just stood out to me. In high school I was going through a series of interviews for scholarships but in one interview in particular there was a question that I thought of today as I was preparing this post:

“If you could meet anyone in the world, who would that be and why?”

I wasn’t expecting this question. Often in these interviews people mostly asked about my college or career plans. I thought for a moment but it wasn’t long before I proudly stated: “I would love to meet Maya Angelou. I just want to sit in her presence and listen to her talk. I feel that she has so much wisdom to share. And if I could just sit near her, I know I would learn a lot.”

Unfortunately I was able to make that wish come true. But it just shows how much of an impact that she had on a senior in high school in 2007 and now seven years later, her impact on my life will never fade.

Below are two reflections that I ran across and wanted to share:

I remember reading “The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou” when I was 10 years old, and even though I did not fully understand what she was saying, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I picked up a pen and have been writing poetry ever since. We have all been impacted by her words, whether it’s “When you get give. When you learn teach.” or “When someone shows you who they are believe them,” or my personal favorite “Words are things. You can put a set of words together and make people want to go to war, and you can put another set of words together and make them long for peace.” RIP Dr. Maya Angelou. Your words of wisdom and empowerment are your legacy.

– Kelundra Smith, 365 Project contributor

And now as I type, I’m moved to poetry. Let your words dance in heaven. They are surely rooted in us on earth. May we continue to replant them so our children can pick the fruit of your brilliance. May the trees never stop yielding the art of your mind. Hard to accept but time said so. Go you must but somehow …you also stay…right here with us. In our minds. On our pages. In our hearts. Let your words dance through the clouds so that when it rains droplets of your greatness may continue to fall. We won’t hold up our umbrellas. Instead we’ll be drenched by your genius and dance through puddles of your legacy and that shall lead us to the river. Your words will always dance. And the music of your spirit will play on.

– Tiffany Johnson, fellow artist



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